Sketchbook: My First Watercolor Paintings

I've been in a great creative mood as of late. I'm filling up my sketchbooks left and right. I haven't really narrowed my focus on one thing; mainly practicing how to control the watercolor paint and slowly discovering my style, likes, and dislikes. Every pieces teaches me something new about my unique way of portrayal. I'm happy! So far, I have been focusing on flora/fauna and illustrated portrait styles. I'm just enjoying myself and not getting stressed out about particulars. Here are a few of my first watercolor paintings!

Sketchbook, pens, and finding my style

Firstly, I'm wishing a Happy Birthday, Mom! to my wonderful mother. She's always supported me and my aspirations for becoming an artist. Others, I know, are not so fortunate. I'm blessed to have her as my Mom. Now, on to this post! I've decided to give this small, 5.5 x 8.5 inch Canson XL Mixed Media book another try. I originally was frustrated with it because I felt constrained by the size. However, after giving it a second thought, I realized this gives me a space that makes me focus on smaller details (it's weird, I know). So far, I am enjoying it; especially the portability. I've used this 98lb paper with watercolors before and it does buckle, but not as bad as one would imagine. I may try to incorporate a bit of watercolor with my sketches here, but the main focus is discovering my style and focusing on drawing.

My artist inspirations

(Photo credit Qing Han / Qinni)

I've been catching up all morning on my favorite artist's Youtube channels and checking out their shops. I thought it'd be a good time to showcase the artist(s) who've inspired me to begin on my journey. Sure, I wanted to expand my artistic skills in hopes to better my employment options, but my fuel had to come from somewhere! I'm always inspired by fashion, beauty/cosmetics, and nature, but some artists work just resonate with me and make me want to create art!

Review: Artist's Loft 36 Pan Watercolor palette

(Photo credits Somewhere in the Middle)

Today's review is going to be on the inexpensive Artist's Loft 36 Pan Watercolor palette. I purchased the Artist's Loft 36 Pan Watercolor Palette from my local Michael's. After watching several videos on YouTube, this palette was recommended for beginners interested in designing cards and hand lettering. It comes with a wide array of bright and pigmented watercolors. All you need to do is spray the palette with water to activate the colors and you're good to go. Aside from the Crayola Watercolor palette, this has been my first watercolor experience. Initially, I was amazed and happy with it, but after a few uses it just didn't satisfy; here's why!

Review: Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors

Hey, everyone! Today I am talking about my experience with the Japanese watercolor set Kuretake Gansai Tambi. I first heard about this type of watercolor when I was in my transition between watercolors to gouache. I discovered both at the time and realized for the art I aspire to make, gouache is also a great option. After watching several youtube videos I decided to purchase a set of my own to give a try. Everyone's reviews seem great but are they really for beginners like me? Keep reading if you're interested!

In The Beginning: How I became an artist

One of my first paintings in watercolor (and me!)

It is only fitting that I make my first blog post on my art blog about how I became an artist! It all started in 2009 when trading letters with a dear penfriend in Hawaii. Her name is Ashley and she always inspired me to be creative. All throughout my junior and senior year of high school I aspired to be a journalist. Things quickly changed in my AP English course senior year and the idea of writing one more paper killed me!

Aside from exchanging letters with Ash, we also blogged and visited each other's domains to read and comment. I loved her beautifully unique designed weblogs and wanted to know how she did it. She taught me all she knew about HTML, FTP programs and managing websites on the ever popular WordPress platform. I was in heaven! To get practice I personalized codes and designs on Myspace (wow, that was a long time ago!) Ash always encouraged me to go to college and get a formal education in graphic art or webdesign. Eventually I took her advice. Fast forward through the years and 2015 marks my graduation year. I graduated from Nicholls State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; I'm a professional Graphic Designer! What I quickly learned in my short year post-graduation is that skillsets and experience are key to landing that interview or job. The more skills I have to show off; the better. Since my last job has come to an end I decided to make it my mission to learn something new.

Currently, it seems the market turns heavily toward back end web developers and Programmers. Another industry that seems to do well is paper goods (stationary, business cards, fancy invitations, etc). Since web development is out of my range my best bet was to pick up on stationary designing. I've always admired brush lettering and all hand lettering of any kind. Watercolor was also an interest of mine in college, but I never had the space in my schedule to take a formal course. Over the last couple months I made it my mission to teach myself how to utilize this medium.

And here I am, today! It's been fun to experiment with other mediums besides my traditional way of doing things, scanning it into a computer, and bringing it to life digitally. I love the organic feel of creating something amazing straight from my hands with no technology involved to dilute it or loose detail in translation (something as a designer is one of my weak points).

I can't wait to share this journey with everyone!